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Archive for the Family Relationships Category

Wife pushes retired husband back to work?

Wife pushes retired husband back to work?

My whole career I traveled and since I’m fluent in Spanish frequently had to travel outside the country.  There was a point where my stay-at-home wife and I struggled since I traveled so much, but now that I’m recently retired she doesn’t seem to want me around. She suggested I get a part-time job. Is this what retirement is supposed to be? First, make sure your retirement is what you want it to be because it sure sounds like you deserve it! You’ve worked hard to get here so you need to fashion and shape your retirement to what suits you. Fill your day with activities that you enjoy even if that activity is taking a daily nap!  Don’t feel that retirement has to be work. If added time for leisure and “doing nothing” appeals to you, do nothing and refuse to feel guilty about it! Your story about your wife wanting you to get out of the house, and out of her way, is a familiar retirement story. Some couples make this adjustment seamlessly while others struggle. The couples that seem to transition the easiest are the ones where the retiree has outside interests or goals that they have set for their retirement. They’ve been planning for their retirement for several years and are set to launch in to their new hobby or they’ve made plans for volunteer work and more time with friends.  Some even enjoy retirement with that part time job you mentioned. What they don’t do is just plop themselves in front of their spouse expecting to be entertained, or waited on, or catered to. Why?  Because their spouse has been living their life around you being at work and they’re pretty happy with their daily routines. You’ve earned this time so whatever you decide to

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Uncomfortable Visiting Home with Pets?

Uncomfortable Visiting Home with Pets?

I’m uncomfortable visiting my girlfriend in her home because of her house pets.  I hate it when her cats rub up against my slacks or paw at them because they leave cat hair and snags.  Then, when I try to be friendly to her dog, it licks my hands leaving me feeling like I need to wash them. I hate this! What can I do besides not ever visit her in her home? This is a tough one because your friend probably doesn’t have a clue that you feel this way, and she would probably feel bad if she did.  People who have house pets consider them part of the family and can be every bit as emotionally attached to their pets as they are their human family members!  Pets can bring such solace, comfort and joy to their owners it’s only natural for their owners to love and cherish their dear pets.  Add to that, a pet will never criticize or judge them and is always happy to see them and its no wonder some people find their pets more enjoyable than their human counterparts! Just as pet owners can have very clean homes with well-behaved indoor pets, the opposite can be true.  Approach this from a practical point of view.  If you do go visit your friend be prepared to wear clothes you don’t mind getting a little pet hair on, or tuck your hand sanitizer in your purse.  Don’t feel that you have to interact with her pet.  Owners are usually very attuned to guests who don’t want to interact with their pets and will accommodate you by steering them clear of you.  If these methods don’t appeal to you and you just feel too uncomfortable, plan to meet your friend at the local coffee shop, and

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Sister Dying, Custody of Children?

Sister Dying, Custody of Children?

My sister is experiencing severe health problems and wants me to take custody of her children if she dies instead of her abusive ex-husband. How do I handle the legal and family drama that comes with this situation? There are so many factors at play in your tragic family situation, it’s no wonder you question how you’re going to handle it all.  Look to maximize your personal strengths during this trying time. Tend to your own emotional needs and nurture your spirit, as you will need to draw on your inner strength as you navigate these waters. Custody issues are emotionally challenging but unless the courts believe the “abusive Ex” will be abusive toward the children, expect him to get primary custody.  Of course, if there is evidence that the father is abusive toward the children, fight with all you’ve got to protect your nieces and nephews!  Support your sister by listening to her concerns and taking note of her wishes. She certainly believes in you, otherwise she wouldn’t want to leave her children with you when she’s gone.  Whatever happens with custody of the children, you can certainly promise your sister you will always be there to help mother her children and keep her memory alive.  What an honor she is bestowing on you.  You must be (you are!) an amazing person! Embrace your Personal Power with Life Coaching~ Is your sister well enough to help you make a plan for the children? Can you both accept that you will do your best to follow the plan? If legal custody does not fall to you, what can you do to still be there for the children? The winner of the ZZ TOP tickets has come forward!  Subscribe to The Joan Jerkovich Show Emails for exclusive contests and posts.  Thanks

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Elderly Person wants to Die?

Elderly Person wants to Die?

Recently, at a community event, I ran in to an elderly woman that I have always admired for her spunk and love for life.  While we don’t know each other well, we’ve always had a mutual admiration and easy connection.  After a brief hello, she told me she’s ready to die. When I asked why, she said she’s tired of living with her health problems.  I felt uncomfortable and didn’t know how to handle this conversation.  Any advice? Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this question as it’s one many people struggle with.  Having worked as a nurse with dying patients and their families, I am a bit more comfortable with these conversations, but they are always difficult. My advice is to make this type of interaction about your heart and not your mind.  It’s in your mind where you might be thinking things like, “this is uncomfortable” or “what am I supposed to say to that?” or “who says those deep-seated things in this kind of social setting?”  Even though you may be feeling uncomfortable, and your friend’s sentiment was heartbreaking to hear, it is a daily reality for many elderly people, especially those who are dealing with multiple health issues as your friend is. When you hear an elderly person say that they are ready to die, go inward to your heart where you can center your frame of mind around compassion, a sense of simply being present with them, and of accepting of them.  Don’t scold them for feeling this way or discount their feelings.  Don’t try to change the subject just because it makes you uncomfortable.  Encourage them to talk about how they are feeling.  Be present with them.  Be quiet in their presence. Place a loving hand on their shoulder or take their hands

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Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Family Fights over Politics?

Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Family Fights over Politics?

My husband is far right politically and his brother is far left.  I hold my breath every time they get together as their conversations always turn to politics and things get really heated.  I know this makes other family members uncomfortable as well so want to know how to stop it or at least tone it down. Sex, money, religion and politics…the hot button conversation topics where only the brave dare venture!  While I welcome these conversation landmines on my radio show, even I know to play them down when talking with my friends and family. While this intense political discourse may make you uncomfortable, you surely realize that some people enjoy sparring over politics, even if things get heated.  The critical issue here is whether or not your husband and his brother can walk away with mutual respect and an attitude to “agree to disagree”.  If, in the final analysis, these heated debates don’t turn in to personal attacks that mar their relationship, then I say, “Let ‘em go at it”!  If it does mar their relationship, that’s a problem they will need to solve. Your question seems to point to your personal discomfort, and your perception that other family members also get uncomfortable.  Do they?  Is that a fact?  If so, you can ban together and tell them to go elsewhere to have their debates.  If the discomfort is mostly yours, know that you can choose how to deal with this.  Join in on the debate, ignore it, walk away, calm yourself with deep breathing, use earplugs, or take a video of them for playback at Christmas so they can see how ridiculous they get over the politics they have very little personal power over!  Choose your strategy for coping based on how tolerant you’re feeling that day. 

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Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Hurt Husband Watches Porn?

Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Hurt Husband Watches Porn?

I caught my husband watching porn on his computer.  I was very hurt.  Am I not good enough for him? Men and porn.  Let’s start with the research.  Men are hard-wired to look at porn yet only 26 percent routinely do and of those 5% have a problem with it…from WebMD.  Assuming that your husband is not one of the problematic viewers, and that he is still interested in you sexually, this is one of those issues to chalk up as “men will be men”.  Men are visual creatures and their biology, a.k.a. “hormones”, set them up to crave the brain feed they get with sexual excitement.  It has to do with their always needing to be ready to propagate the species. Talk with him about how this makes you feel.  If you have a strong religious belief that it is a sin to watch porn, this will be a particularly distressing issue for you.  To honor your sensibilities, he may even agree to quit watching porn, but, (and this is a BIG butt!) don’t be surprised if he doesn’t totally quit but just goes underground with his viewing.  Bolster your resolve to have a frank discussion on this topic…it may open the door to improving your sex life and intimacy. Whatever you do, don’t let your man’s biology leave you feeling hurt and not good enough.  Besides, he doesn’t want a skanky porn star!  He wants You!  The mother to his children, the person who loves him and still finds him sexy regardless of the pooch around his middle, his thinning hair and all his imperfections! Embrace your Personal Power with Life Coaching~ What are the issues, if any, with the sexual relationship you have with your husband? Where will you find your personal power woman who braves this

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Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Stepson with ADD Affecting Marriage?

Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Stepson with ADD Affecting Marriage?

My stepson has ADD, but his mother doesn’t want him on medication so I have to put up with his bullshit.  It’s affecting our marriage.  Any advice? This one is tough as there are a lot of parents who don’t believe in medicating their children (for various reasons) and your wife sounds strong in her belief.  First, do you feel that you have adequate information from which to make the decision to medicate or not?  I tell people that you can always find an “opinion” on the Internet that will “fit” your belief in what you should (or should not) do, but that doesn’t make the information accurate or reliable.  That said, you need to first agree on what resources for information on managing ADD you will use to base your decisions on.  That can be anything from the Medical Pediatric Associations, Behavioral Therapists, the local Shaman, Nutritionist or Energy Healer.  Believe me, when it comes to health, people have strong opinions on what methods to use and to this I say…do what works for you! After you gather the information, you can begin the process of discussing with your wife a plan for making your home life more peaceful.  Research on effective step parenting lays out a plan that looks like this:  set up specific and clearly defined house rules; together, present the rules to your children; have consequences for breaking the rules; administer consequences together as a united front.  Take the time to set up rules and boundaries that are appropriate and healthy for your child with ADD.  Honor the fact that your stepson’s mother has the final say in how her child will be treated both medically and in your home.  Together, make this plan for how your home will function and your marriage will reap the

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Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Critical Daughter-in-law?

Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Critical Daughter-in-law?

When I became a grandmother I quickly discovered that my sons wife was not going to agree with any of my grand parenting methods. She has imposed so many rules that I barely feel free to enjoy my grand kids. No paddle boating or jet skiing at the lake (too dangerous) no snacks unless she approves first (my grandma cookies might be unhealthy)?!  Our relationship has always been tense but this is ridiculous!  What’s a Grandparent to do? Let me guess…she wouldn’t be happy with you building a sand castle, finger-painting or baking cupcakes with your grand kids?  You don’t feed them, dress them, or potty them the right way, and its amazing that you successfully raised your son to adulthood?!  She’s either a nervous helicopter parent or a control freak or simply being passive-aggressive with you…for your sake I hope it’s not the latter. Wise grandparents have told me that its best to follow the rules set by the parents and keep your mouth shut!  Who likes to do that when we all know that you are the wiser and more experienced caretaker, yet, did your parents always agree with the way you raised your kids?  Were you happy when they kept their parenting advice to themselves unless asked for?  Try adopting an attitude of loving support as you follow the lead of your son and his wife. I sense that trying to change your daughter-in- law will only cause a rift and may cost you precious moments with your grandchildren. Embrace your Personal Power with Life Coaching~ What have you learned about keeping the peace with your Daughter-in-law? What does she say or do that really triggers you and raises your ire? How can you anticipate and embrace yourself for those triggers? What action, inaction or stress reducing

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Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Spouse Sneaks Cigarettes?

Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Spouse Sneaks Cigarettes?

My spouse sneaks off to smoke cigarettes. I know they’re trying to quit but whenever I confront them they lie about it. What should I do? In my opinion, there is NO place in relationship for lies!  When you allow even the little lies to go unchecked, how do you know what other truths are being withheld from you?  I’ve heard it said that whenever you are in a relationship where you are being lied to, your whole relationship is a lie.  If lying is a problem in your relationship, think carefully about that statement because it carries a deeper truth… Moving on from Joan’s pontificating…if your partner doesn’t feel safe telling you the truth about relatively innocuous things, they are more likely going to lie to you to avoid conflict.  Be clear about your feelings on lying and try to get your spouse to agree to never lie to you, even if they sometimes need to “plead the fifth”!  If your agreement does allow for his answer to your questioning to be “no answer”, you have to leave it at that. No badgering, cajoling or whining for more information or fessing up. There will come another time to discuss the issue.  A word on smoking: quitting smoking is said to be as difficult an addiction to break as heroin.  If your spouse is trying to quit take a page from the Al-Anon book on how to “confront” with care, concern and kindness.  Express your concerns from you heart and you are more likely to be heard. Embrace your Personal Power with Life Coaching~ How can you support your spouse’s efforts to quit smoking in a way that doesn’t cause friction between the two of you? What can you do to minimize the distress this habit causes you? In what

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Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Same Fight after Married 27 Years?

Joan Jerkovich “Your” Life Coach~Same Fight after Married 27 Years?

The biggest arguments my husband and I have are over spending.  I like to spend and he likes to save.  I grew up in a family where my Dad spoiled me and I got everything I ever wanted.  Sometimes I wish this were not the case because I know this has set me up for the number one stress my marriage of 27 years has had.  Will this bickering over spending ever get resolved?  Maybe before we hit our 50th anniversary? You may think you’re asking a question, but I think you’re telling all of us a beautiful love story!  I’m sure you know the answer to your own question, which is to say that “no” you will never stop bickering with your husband over money.  After 27 years of relating to each other in this way, neither of you are going to change.  One marriage research project I read found that every long-term marriage has that thing (or those things) that they bicker about until “death do us part”.  The issue never gets resolved (a key point to take note of…) and couples are good to not expect it to.  Yet, over time, they find their own way of staying connected in spite of their differences.  Ahhh…feel the love?  I do! Embrace your Personal Power with Life Coaching~ Has the way that the two of you bicker about money changed much in the past 20 years? If not, why would you want to change things now? If the bickering has escalated, are there other stresses in your marriage besides money? What is your pattern for coming back together after disagreements? How can you shorten the time you spend cussing and discussing, and get down to the business of reconnecting? Please SHARE this on Facebook and lend your COMMENTS ~

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